What Are Built in Appliances’?

What Are Built-in Appliances?

A major decision in any kitchen or laundry renovation is whether to opt for freestanding or in-built appliances—but what are built-in appliances and how do you know if they’re the right choice for you? Read on to find out more about built-in appliances and the key things you need to consider when choosing the right appliances to complete your home renovation.

Key Summary

Built-in appliances are installed directly into cabinets or joinery to create a modern and seamless look.

What are built-in appliances

What Are Built-in Appliances?

Built-in appliances are appliances which are fixed directly into cabinetry. Unlike freestanding appliances which are not attached to the cabinetry and can be shifted and moved around freely, built-in appliances are fitted snuggly within the cabinetry carcass as if they are part of the cabinets themselves.

Praised for their ability to create a clean and streamlined aesthetic, in-built appliances tend to be the preferred choice for most modern design styles.

What’s the Difference Between In-built and Integrated Appliances?

The terms ‘built-in’ and ‘integrated’ are often used interchangeably, however, they are slightly different.

Built-in and integrated appliances are much the same in that they’re fixed directly into the cabinetry shell which is designed to suit the exact specifications of the appliance, however, integrated appliances go one step further. While built-in appliances typically leave the face surface of the appliance visible, integrated appliances fully conceal or disguise the appliance by attaching face panels to obscure the appliance entirely from sight.

What Appliances Can Be Built into Cabinetry?

You’ll most commonly find built-in appliances in the kitchen or laundry. 

While in-built has been the default option for kitchen appliances such as ovens, cooktops and range hoods for many years, homeowners now have the option to build more of their home appliances into the surrounding cabinetry than ever before.

Some of the appliances that can now be built into or integrated within your cabinetry include: 

  • dishwashers
  • refrigerators and freezers
  • coffee machines
  • microwaves
  • washing machines
  • dryers
  • steam cabinets

Is it Difficult to Replace or Relocate In-built or Integrated Appliances?

A key concern for homeowners considering in-built or integrated appliances is the ability to replace or relocate the appliances should they ever need to. 

Unfortunately, appliances do have a limited shelf life and will need to be replaced at some point. While built-in appliances are slightly more difficult to replace than freestanding appliances, the job shouldn’t be too difficult provided you select a replacement appliance with the same dimension specifications.

If you’re planning to take the appliance with you when you relocate to a new house in the future, you’re generally best placed to opt for freestanding appliances which aren’t permanently installed in the cabinetry.

Do In-built or Integrated Appliances Cost More?

While most appliance manufacturers try to offer a range of both freestanding and built-in appliances at various price points to suit different budgets, built-in or integrated appliances do typically cost a little more than freestanding appliances.

In addition to the cost of the appliance itself, it’s also important to factor in cabinetry and labour costs. Custom cabinetry almost always costs more than standard cabinets, and the more labour-intensive installation process associated with in-built or integrated appliances can also affect the finished cost. 

What are the Pros and Cons of Built-in or Integrated Appliances?


  • Aesthetics – Built-in and integrated appliances are so popular because of their modern aesthetic, helping the space to feel larger and more streamlined.
  • Noise – The semi-concealed nature of in-built appliances can provide some acoustic benefits by helping to deaden operating noise.
  • Better ergonomics – Built-in appliances can be mounted at the most convenient height for the user, making them more ergonomic and user-friendly.
  • More counter space – Building small appliances which might normally take up valuable counter space such as microwaves and coffee machines into cabinetry can free up more workspace and create a cleaner, less cluttered space.


  • Cost – In-built appliances typically cost more than freestanding appliances when you consider the cost of cabinetry, installation and the appliance itself.
  • Difficult to replace or relocate – The permanent nature of the installation makes it more difficult to replace or relocate the appliance should you ever need to.
  • May have reduced capacity – In some cases, in-built or integrated appliances such as fridges and dishwashers may have a slightly smaller capacity than freestanding appliances.

Renovating a Kitchen or Laundry? Speak to Us First

If you’re planning a kitchen or laundry renovation and can’t decide whether freestanding, in-built or integrated appliances are the way to go, speak to us first! 

Our experienced team members can help you work through the entire renovation process so you can make the right decision, the first time.

Find out more about who we are or visit one of our Melbourne showrooms to find out more.

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